Congratulations and thanks to Berea’s Good Neighbors and Frontline Workers.
Because of COVID, we canceled the annual Spirit of Community banquet in January, which honors community volunteers. I wanted to recognize those in our community who have gone above and beyond under some extraordinary circumstances, so I created the Good Neighbor and Frontline Worker awards. I asked residents to nominate their neighbors, co-workers, anyone in Berea who has been especially supportive this past year. The plan was to select one or two outstanding winners. But everyone nominated is exceptional. Everyone will receive a special plaque recognizing their contributions to our community during trying times.
Details on each winner are in the April Berean but I wanted to list their names here to make sure these devoted residents of Berea, who range in age from 11 to seniors, receive the recognition they deserve. The are fine examples of what community means – looking out for and respecting each other.
Good Neighbor Awards will go to:
- Joe and Pat Armstrong, for assisting neighbor Shelbie Skinner, who is undergoing cancer treatment.
- Zakari Austin, a middle school student, for taking Rubie Neeley’s trash cans to the curb each week.
- Karen Gilroy for creating uplifting chalk messages on sidewalks.
Frontline Worker Awards go to:
- Andy Baker of Dick’s Bakery, for supplying a customer with groceries.
- Angela Brooks of Mootown Creamery, for supporting her young employees with an online fundraiser.
- Berea Service Department and Water Plant employees for their hard work during COVID.
- Berea Fire and Police Departments for their dedication during the pandemic.
- Anna Calabrese, a dispatcher with Heights Hillcrest Communications Center, for outstanding service.
- Teachers and staff of Grindstone Elementary School, Berea-Midpark High School and St. Mary Catholic School for their commitment to students and families.
- Natalie Guzzo of Berea Community Outreach for devising new, innovative programs for seniors.
- Megan Pochatek, special events coordinator, for planning family events that followed COVID guidelines and were still fun and safe.
- Councilwoman Kim Smith for leading Council into taking pay cuts and using the money to assist local businesses.
- Marian Wither, jitney driver, for staying on the job throughout the past year and for looking out for seniors and disabled passengers in her care.